Posts Tagged ‘ carl bray ’

Carl Bray: Rare Images Part Two

Here are more rarely seen images from Carl Bray’s life, courtesy of his son, Patrick Bray. An exhibit of Carl’s final paintings just opened at the The Historical Society of Palm Desert.  The opening reception is Saturday, October 5, 2013, from 11 am to 1 pm. For information, see www.hspd.org.

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Carl Bray: Rare Images and a New Exhibit

Carl Bray: Rare Images and a New Exhibit

The Historical Society of Palm Desert is opening an exhibit of Carl Bray’s last paintings, along with a display of memorabilia from his studio loaned by the Indian Wells Historic Preservation Foundation. The opening reception is Saturday, October 5, 2013, from 11 am to 1 pm. For information, see www.hspd.org. A folk hero to desert art lovers, Bray died on July 23, 2011 at age 94. At his memorial service in Banning, his children showed a slide show of his life as a railroadman, father, fisherman, inventor, bridge-builder, humanitarian, artist and Indian Wells homesteader. For those who didn’t attend, you’ll…

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The Smoketree Artists’ Historic Home Tour

The Smoketree Artists’ Historic Home Tour

This article first appeared in Palm Springs Life, Winter/Spring 2013 Any Palm Springs visitor can board a bus and tour Liberace’s pad. With only a little more effort, you can see the view that inspired mystical visions from Agnes Pelton’s back porch or the Cathedral City home where R. Brownell McGrew came to love the desert so much he was later dubbed Rembrandt Under a Smoketree. Some of California’s greatest artists once lived in the Coachella Valley. More and more, art lovers are recognizing the power artists’ former homes and environs hold in telling the story of American art. As…

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Indio Water Tower, Banning Art Scene, Samuel DeWalt Arner, Made in the Mojave and More

Indio Water Tower, Banning Art Scene, Samuel DeWalt Arner, Made in the Mojave and More

The Desert X team may want to look to Indio for an example of site-specific art firmly rooted in the desert soil. You start with a local ingredient, in this case a 95-year-old water tower that stood at the corner of Ave 48 and Jackson St. (now Coachella) on the old M.H. Whittier Ranch. The tower was moved to the Coachella Valley Historical Society grounds in 1993, as a memorial to a local date grower. The staff took up a fundraising drive to evict the pigeons and repair the scaffolding. Then you add indigenous art. Because water towers were often…

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Deborah Martin Curates the Salton Sea, Marian Yost Rediscovered, Edan Hughes, Travels With Gary

Five years after her groundbreaking exhibit of Salton Sea art, Valley of the Ancient Lake, Deborah Martin again brings together a mix of artists interpreting the Sea. The new exhibit, The Salton Sea: Lost in Paradise, opens March 21st, 2016, at the Marks Art Center at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert. I asked Deborah how the art of the Sea has evolved in five years. “I think there’s more urgency,” she said. “There’s more despair. I feel it when I go out there. There are imminent public health and wildlife concerns. Things are just looking worse and…

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Desert Americana, Western Abstraction, Coyote Fur and Rams’ Horns

Desert Americana, Western Abstraction, Coyote Fur and Rams’ Horns

The Cathedral City Historical Society hosts the master of desert Americana, Ron Backer, at a luncheon Thursday, November 5, 2015. Backer, a transplant from South Dakota, zones in on a neighborhood and soon unearths stories even the locals don’t know; then he paints the tales so they are forever preserved. Art historian Marilyn Cooper will talk about Backer’s narrative approach, as guests enjoy a lunch by Cathedral City’s own Chef Hector. Come and meet Ron Backer and support the Cathedral City Historical Society. http://www.cathedralcityhistoricalsociety.org/special-events.html Andy’s Sea in Long Beach Salton Sea painter Andrew Dickson shows new images of the Sea…

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Carl Bray Sign, Mystery Artist, Rock Talk, Cactus Capers and More

Drivers passing through Indian Wells normally encounter a monotonous stretch of lawns, sidewalks and opulence. Now, though, travelers are sighting a colorful, quirky object on the horizon. It’s the old Carl Bray gallery sign, recently replanted by the City. The resurrection of the palette-shaped Smoke Tree Painter sign is a testament to the tenacity of the Indian Wells Historic Preservation Foundation. The group, led by Adele Ruxton, kept nudging the City for the last five years to see the project through. Preservationists all over the Valley lobbied to save Carl’s roadside gallery and home when it was threatened with demolition…

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Tribute to Fran Elliott, Natural Desert Pigments, Salton Sea Sabbatical and More

Tribute to Fran Elliott, Natural Desert Pigments, Salton Sea Sabbatical and More

Forgotten desert artists lost a champion when Fran Elliott, of Sedona, Arizona, died on April 22, 2014. Fran and her husband Ed unearthed the stories of dozens of neglected Arizona women artists. Their collection sparked the 2012 exhibit Arizona’s Pioneering Women Artists at the Museum of Northern Arizona, along with an accompanying catalogue. I made Fran’s acquaintance thanks to Gary Fillmore, of the Blue Coyote Gallery, who saw similarities in Fran’s mission and my own. In our correspondence Fran said she longed to visit Palm Springs during the Modernism show “since I live in a 60’s-era ‘solar hemicycle’ house originally…

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Agnes Pelton Way, Death Valley 49ers, Morongo Art Tours, etc.

Agnes Pelton Way, Death Valley 49ers, Morongo Art Tours, etc.

Branding experts make big bucks dreaming up campaigns to sell communities, yet one of the simplest ways to build an identity is to promote a beloved artist. It worked for Santa Fe, in the case of Georgia O’Keeffe, and it’s working for Cathedral City, as City leaders increasingly embrace hometown mystic Agnes Pelton. In the latest effort to bolster the brand, the City unveiled new street signage on F Street (the site of Pelton’s former home): Agnes Pelton Way. In contrast, the city of Indian Wells could write the “What Not to Do” book when it comes to promoting local…

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Goodbye to Carl Bray

Goodbye to Carl Bray

Smoketree artist Carl Bray died in Banning on July 23, 2011, at age 94, after a brief illness. Carl had been working on new paintings up until two months ago. He took an annual vacation to Missouri with family members and declined quickly upon his return. His death ends one of the great David and Goliath battles in California art history. For decades the City of Indian Wells tried to tear down his hand-built home and gallery on Highway 111. Carl held off the rich and powerful city with sheer determination not to be run off. After he moved away…

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